Prince Edward Island

Pam and I took my Mom on a trip to PEI. The bridge to get from the mainland to the island is very impressive, over 7 miles long. You can’t even see the halfway point in the picture where it is even taller for what must be for some really huge ships to pass under (aircraft carrier size).


PEI is the smallest of the Canadian provinces, but produces 30% of the potatoes for the entire country. Therefore, we had to visit the potato museum. There was a lot to learn about potatoes that was pretty interesting. The size of the farms and the John Deere equipment on the island was impressive.


We covered the island, stopping at many of the craft workshops and museums around the island. One was the basket weaving shop where they weave the ash wood potato baskets by splitting the wood, shaving it down to the right shape and then separating it along the yearly growth rings to make the basket reeds.


We also stopped in the “bottle house”, a place on the “1000 places you need to see before you die” list. There were actually three houses there made of glass bottles and in one a group was playing some foot-stompin’ music as part of the ongoing Acadian celebration this weekend. We now only have about 900 of these places to see left…


They were having the 150 year celebration of the meetings in PEI that led to the forming of Canada. Some tall ships were in Charlottetown for the celebration along with many other folks and things to do downtown.


We’re back in Granville Ferry now and back in the Roamer. We drove my Mom’s car there and back and it was just not the same.

Annapolis Royal

Slowly working Mom’s list of things needing repair around the house. Just finished pressure washing and rolling the first coat on the deck. Not bad when you’re being paid in lobster sandwiches and moosehead beer.


Went over to the farmer’s market and picked up a few good things to eat for the next few days.


Walked by Ft Anne and took this shot of the hills we used to run and side down as kids. The cannon is the one Taylor slipped on and gashed his head to become a real wounded person during a revolutionary era re-enactment they were doing about 15 years ago when he was much smaller.


Went to the theater here to see a dance show where the dancers were 60 to 81 years old. Obviously there was no leaping but it was interesting. Pam and I were definitely some of the younger folks in the crowd.

We’re heading up to PEI (Prince Edwards Island) later this week to see the tall ships that will be in port for the holiday weekend. Then I think the week after that we’ll be heading over to Newfoundland.

Nova Scotia

Pam and I hiked Acadia NP while we waited for our oil change appointment.


There was an interesting trail through the grass marsh as we looked for a 3 foot tall woodpecker.


Signs that it was in the area were all around, but we could not find one (must be hanging with the moose).


Climbed up a great trail to the mountain edge.


Looking out it was hard to decide if I would rather have the yacht, the house or the schooner….


We then took off for Nova Scotia, but missed the ferry from Saint John to Digby so we drove all the way around instead. Made for a long day, but arrived to some of Mom’s great seafood chowder and some cold beers we picked up at the Atlantic Brewing Co. in Bar Harbor the previous night with some great BBQ. Their slogan is “Save the Ales”.

We’re now parked in Mom’s back yard and we’ll decide what will make up the second half of the trip back home.



We drove to Maine for three reasons: 1) to see Pam’s cousin, 2) to climb Mt Katahdin and 3) to get to Nova Scotia. We also wanted to see a moose. Pam’s cousin is just getting over a recent illness so we’ll see him on our way back through Maine on the way home. Mt Katahdin has vehicle size restrictions for Baxter SP that ruled out the Roamer (9 ft tall, 7 ft wide and 22 ft long – we missed on all three – bummer).

We did camp just outside the park for a nice evening in the woods. We have been eating well on the trip. Here was the honey mustard chicken and asparagus we had for dinner – cooked over the open fire.


The area around the campsite was known for moose.


We did not see a moose but heard something in the night that sounded like a 200 pound cat gagging up a hairball. We did drive around this morning in search of moose but no luck. They must be smaller than I thought….

We did get a picture of Mt Katahdin so we can return in a Prius and climb the thing.


Our truck reminded us it was time to change the oil so we made an appointment in Bangor for Thursday.

To kill some time and get another passport stamp in my National Parks book, we headed down to Acadia NP where you effectively have to guess which direction is correct due to the lack of signs. We turned onto one road only to be met with a stone bridge that was 10 ft 7 in high (the Roamer is roughly 12 ft). Good thing it can turn on a dime since I had to pull off a nice three-point turn on a tiny, wooded road with no shoulder. The next road we turned on (a one way road) had a stone bridge of 12 ft 2 in that we cleared under, but I’m not sure by how much. We finally found the visitor center and the map they give you states “Warning – low bridges! Five low-clearance bridges – advance route planning necessary for RVs and tall vehicles”. Thanks… at least I now know where the other 3 are within the park.

I was just about to rule out Maine as a place to ever visit again until we got to the campsite. Similar to other sites we’ve been to there was a sign at check-in with local food that can be delivered to the camp (mostly pizza). However, our campsite had local lobster delivered to your site for $5 per pound.


Three pounds of lobster and a few ciders tasted great. Maybe I won’t rule out Maine yet.


New England

Pam and I have been in Vermont and New Hampshire for the last few days. We spent a night with Mike’s dad and girlfriend in the 1000 island area.


Then we drove into the Adirondacks for a good hike before stopping for the night at Ft Ticonderoga.


The fort is in restoration and the gardens were very nice.



From there we jumped into Vermont. We realized Ben & Jerry’s is in Vermont so we had to stop for a tour.


I liked the sign in their new flavor creating room.


The campsite in Vermont was very nice. I’m still deciding if is should move into the top 5, very possibly.


We then traveled into northern New Hampshire on a Saturday. Not a good idea. Every trail head and stop was packed with folks looking for some outdoor fun.


We then headed up Mt Washington on the COG railroad.


The weather at the top could have been better, but it is known as the world’s worst weather location.


Made our way into Maine yesterday and camped there.


Did a good hike today in northern Maine.


We stopped in a little town’s parking lot along the way to tonight’s site since cell coverage in the east is not that great in the wilderness. Needed to catch up with the blog and take care of a few retired issues via Boeing online. Should be in Canada and at our half-way point of the trek in a couple of days.

45 days on the road and having a great time. Driving the ultimate tent doesn’t hurt either.


Pam and I drove south to visit with my cousins and their families in Elkland, PA. Did some sight-seeing in Watkins Glen. Another natural wonder that I did not know was there. I thought Watkins Glen was just a stop on the NASCAR circuit.


Got a map of the micro-brew places across New York (and yes there was one in Watkins Glen we hit after the hike). We entered a trivia contest in Mansfield at another brew house and our team (The Roamers) qualified for the quarter finals in two weeks.


There may have to be a couple of “relative” substitutions for the next round due to our absence, but the team will be there.

Made our way back up to 1000 Island area today after stopping at the Corning glass museum. A lot of glass history and we saw a glass blower create an amazing piece right before our eyes.


Had dinner with Mike P’s dad and his girlfriend tonight at their place on the river near Alexandria Bay. Great company and a great meal to go with the unbelievable view.


Tomorrow we head for eastern NY and the Adirondacks.

Back in Touch

In my last post Pam and I were on our way to Ontario, but as we read about what we could bring into Canada we realized we had way too much, beer, wine and fresh veggies. So we stopped into the forest ranger station, got a map for the areas we could disperse camp, but then when we got to the sites we found out that the trees were so thick we could not get off the road.


Instead we found a beach in Michigan just west if St Ignace and camped for a couple of days to deplete our stock.


It gave us time to go visit Mackinac Island.


No private cars are allowed on the island. Transportation is all by horse pulled cart or bicycle.


The scenery around the island was beautiful. I could see spending the summer there and eating more of the maple walnut fudge.


There was a stable house museum on the island with some of the old carriages built for eras gone by.


From there we traveled up to the north side of the UP and spent one last night on the beach outside Sault Ste Marie. We then crossed into Canada with almost the legal limit, but they let us in without duty (must have been the vehicle). Stopped half way across Ontario at the Samuel D Champlain Provincial Park for the night after driving past many beaver dams in the area around Sudbury. A lot of moose signs were along the road, but none spotted. Getting to the camp site required crossing this bridge.


Did a nice hike in the park.


Stopped also at a chip truck to get some poutine (fries, with turkey gravy and melted cheese). Tastes great but I’m sure it’s not on my diet. I doubt it’s on anyone’s diet.


We then made our way back into the US in the 1000 Island region in upper NY. Wow, I never even know this existed. What an area.


Camped in the state park in the region and got a spot right on the St Lawrence River to see a beautiful sunset.


We decided to divert south to the Finger Lakes and stop in to visit with my cousins in the Corning, NY area. Had to stop at one of the vineyards along Seneca Lake to test some of the grapes.


Catching up today, but back on the road tomorrow and will possibly head back to the 1000 Island area before heading east in the Adirondacks.

UP of Michigan

Spent the last couple of days driving the UP. Lots of woods, water and rocks.



Camped at Fort Wilkins, a turn of the century outpost that has been converted into a state park. There are many state parks around here so we picked up a Michigan Rec pass for the Roamer (even the Roamer gets a sticker) so we could visit them along the way for sight-seeing or just lunch.


While enjoying the views, we have also been enjoying the local brews. I had some Spotted Cow Ale, while Pam preferred the Dancing Man Wheat beer.


Drove down to Indian Lake, next to Lake Michigan for last night’s camp. It seems we are the only folks in Michigan without a boat, canoe or kayak


Today we are going to shoot out the top of the UP into Ontario and across into New York. May take a couple of days due to the size of Ontario so we’ll get one night in Canada along the way.

Our Gas Buddy app showed that the cheapest diesel in the country ($3.69 a gal) was in a small town in the UP. We filled it up in SD, where it was cheap due to the farms and drove to the town along our route. Got to the station with just 9 gallons left in the tank (the aux tank was empty). Now we’re full but will need to refill before entering Canada and the expected prices we’ll see crossing Ontario.


River Crossings

We left South Dakota and entered Pipestone, MN, a place where the sacred red pipestone is found for the Indian peace pipes. The soft pipestone rock is found just under the Sioux quartzite (the second hardest stone), so it’s no easy task getting to it. Seemed strange that it’s considered sacred ground and Native Americans need to apply for a permit to quarry the stone for their ceremonial pipes, but that anyone can buy a pipestone pipe now for $40. I passed.


After our hike, we then stopped in a diner in Pipestone and obviously picked the local favorite. It was packed. Pam had stuffed hash browns (hash browns filled with cheese, onions, etc) and eggs, and I had a chicken philly sandwich that contained an entire chicken with a tower of fries on the plate. We left in blissful agony and did not need to eat for the rest of the day. If that was just one of three meals for the local folks then they must be loading up for the winter. It was nice having the Roamer and its bathroom because that strong of coffee has a serious impact on bodily functions in about 1/2 of an hour when you’re in the middle of nowhere.

We then spotted a full size P-51 on a stick in the middle of corn country – had to stop.


It was the home of the Fagen Restoration facility, where they put back to flight WWII aircraft. He had a P-38 that had just come back from Oshkosh as well as racing P-51s. Met another couple there that winters in Mesa.


We crossed the Mississippi River in St Cloud, MN to make us officially in the east. I should have stopped in for a hockey shirt but passed as we went by the college. We camped in Taylors Falls, MN for the night, right on the St Croix River and the Wisconsin border.

We came up the river area today and this looks like a future trip – canoe down the St Croix and camp along the river at the many campsites set up for just that purpose. The river was moving pretty good so it didn’t seem like a very tough adventure. A little paddling with lots of fishing and relaxing. The tough part would be to find a canoe big enough to hold the Roamer.


Sweet Corn is just now showing up along the roads – yes. Had to stop and grabbed a few ears. Dinner tonight was pork chops and corn. Fresh corn taste so different. Saved two more ears for tomorrow night.


Camped on the banks of Lake Superior tonight near the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. We will be heading up to the Upper Peninsula tomorrow and may take a rest day. You know you are traveling a lot when you have left-overs for lunch that you cooked several hundred miles ago.

Pam and I have now been on the road for a month. Wow, time flies even when you are retired.


Madison, SD

We have just about made it across South Dakota. We camped the night at Badlands and saw pronghorn, bison, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs. The Ranger talk was on the grasslands and I got to throw a spear using the atlatl. The badlands just erode away from the prairies.



Bighorn sheep mom and baby eating away in the valley below.


The bison used the speed sign as a scratching post.


This guy was obviously the best fed prairie dog in the park.


We then made our way to Wall Drug store in Wall, SD for their world famous hot beef sandwich lunch, 5-cent coffee and the wonders of sites within the block long building.


We finished the day by stopping in Madison, SD for the night. Tomorrow we enter Viking territory (Minnesota) and then the land of cheeseheads (Wisconsin). Entered a new time zone today and noticed that we are about half way across the US now.